« AnkstesnisTęsti »
your minds by this recent experience, will be invaluable. If only this had been gained, I believe the institution would not have been established in vain. But if men say that all these difficulties tell against inquiry and education, I can only say that it proves we want more education. If I wanted a proof of that, I should find it in this,— that the working men of Brighton have not yet got beyond Tom Paine.
This, then, brother men, is the reply to the taunts that have been made use of. But still I am bound to acknowledge this, and I do it with shame and sorrow,-that there has been a handle put, by some of yourselves, into the hand of the bigot and the timid man. What then, is all that the tyrants of the past have said, true; and all that the philanthropists have said, false? Were all their gloomy predictions sagaciously prophetic? What have the tyrant, the bigot, and the timid said? That it is impossible to give power to the people without making them revolutionary, or to give them instruction without making them infidel. You owe it to yourselves and to your cause to cast the imputation from you. And if Infidelity presumes to lay her hand upon the ark of your magnificent and awful cause, the cause of the people's liberty, and men say that it is part and parcel of the system, give that slander
LECTURES, &c. BY REV. F. W. ROBERTSON.
to the winds, and prove, men of Brighton, by the rejection of these books, and by the reorganization of your society, that the cause of instruction and the cause of freedom are not the cause of infidelity.
Two Lectures on the Influence of Poetry on the Working Classes, delivered before the Members of the Mechanics' Institution, February, 1852.
THE selection of the subject of this evening's Lecture, "The Influence of Poetry on the Working Classes," requires some explanation. What has Poetry to do with the Working Classes? What has it, in fact, to do with this age at all? Does it not belong to the ages past, so that the mere mention of it now is an anachronism— something out of date? Now, there is a large class of persons, to whom all that belongs to our political and social existence seems of such ab
* As some of the topics contained in the following Lectures might seem out of place, as addressed to the members of a Mechanics' Institution, it may be well to state that they were delivered before a mixed audience. They are printed, with some additions, from the corrected notes of a short-hand reporter.